real life

Gay pastor Allan Edwards is attracted to men but happily married to a woman.

Allan Edwards from the US state of Pennsylvania is a gay man. He’s known he was attracted to men since he was a teenager and in the years since the mid-1990s, he’s come to terms with his sexual orientation.

But Edwards is also a pastor whose religion says homosexuality is a sin, so he did what he thought was right. He married a woman and never acted on the sexual feelings he naturally experiences.

That doesn’t change who he is. He knows it. His wife knows it. And when it’s old enough, their unborn baby will know it too.

Leeanne and Pastor Edwards. Image via Facebook. 

“I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?” Edwards told NPR. “So for me, it’s not just that the religion was important to me, but communion with a God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am.”

It’s incredibly easy to read Edwards’ comments and think he’s trying to hide the truth from himself. That religion prevents him from being who he truly is and being open and honest about his sexuality. But Edwards swears he isn’t.

“I don’t think anyone chooses what they will be tempted by, sexually or otherwise. But we do choose what to do with that desire,” he wrote in a blog post.

Pastor Edwards. Image via Facebook. 

Edwards’ wife, Leeanne, told NPR she wondered when she married him if her husband could “put something like that behind him”. Something like that being the sexual orientation he was born with.  Leeanne says she was initially scared it would affect their relationship but the unconventional couple say there’s no problem with their very intimate marriage.

“There’s always going to be situations where a partner is sexually attracted to someone else and isn’t necessarily dealing with sexual attraction with their partner,” Leeanne said.

Leeanne and Pastor Edwards. Image via Facebook. 

“Everybody has this experience of wanting something else or beyond what they have,” Allan added. “Everyone struggles with discontentment. The difference, I think, and the blessing Leeanne and I have experienced is that we came into our marriage relationship already knowing and talking about it. And I think that’s a really powerful basis for intimacy.”

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It’s easy for us on the outside to judge the couple’s lifestyle and I suspect we’re all thinking the same thing: Pastor Allan Edwards is a gay man who only has sex with a woman; surely he must be unhappy. Surely his life would be better if he could act on his desires.

It is not a sin to be attracted to other men, Edwards says on his blog. It is only a sin, he claims, to act on that urge.

The couple on their wedding day. Image via Facebook. 

You have to wonder though, if the couple’s child grows up and realises he or she is attracted to the same sex, will they be forced to marry someone in denial of their true feelings? Or will their parents support their sexual orientation and their desire to act on it?

A TV show about to launch in the US that follows a starkingly similar storyline has sparked huge controversy over the “false and dangerous message” it sends to viewers. The program, creatively titled ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ follows four Mormon heterosexual couples as they try to navigate their marriages, knowing very well their husbands are same-sex attracted.

Watch the trailer below. Post continues after video. 

“These couples share the challenges they face every day and explain why they have decided to live the way they do, and explore how these wives endure this unusual facet in their relationships as they strive to make their marriages work,” a press release stated.

The difference between these two cases – ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ and that of Pastor Edwards – is that the program spouts the message that being gay is a sin that needs to be covered up. Edwards is upfront and honest about his sexuality, he simply chooses never to act on it.